Tag Archives: rain

Iceland Journal – “Skógafoss” – South Iceland

“Skógafoss” - South Iceland

“The places where water comes together with other water. Those places stand out in my mind like holy places.” 
― Raymond Carver

Water upon water, water flowing everywhere, from the high and cold places, that is Iceland.

And this, is one of the most known waterfalls for a few reasons. Skógafoss is one of the largest waterfalls in Iceland, at 60 meters in height and 25 meters wide. It’s also just a short drive from Reykjavik and one of the first significant waterfalls you see for the Ring Road, Highway 1. It’s also very easily accessible. In fact, you can walk right up to it. You’ll get soaked by the mist in seconds, but you can walk right up to it, as many people did on this rainy October day.

The waterfall itself is on the River Skóga, this the name Skóga / foss (Skóga / waterfall). It’s actually one of many waterfalls on the Skóga river, but the others are much smaller and further up the river from Skógafoss.

As I mentioned, many people walk right up to it; people with cellphones, point and shoot cameras, and the hardcore photographers with their tripods and water resistant coverings, all wanting to take some memory of the beautiful place home with them.

You’d think this would be dangerous, but despite the height of the waterfall, the actual volume flowing over it is not as great as you’d think. I would not recommend showering under it, but you can get very close, and very wet!

As I said, we visited on a rainy day, so were already in our rain gear as we approached. It did make for stunning photos either, as I was trying to get an angle that did not have people in it and the fine mist and rain  provided me with a soft white background rather than a few clouds and blue sky. I also did not want to commit to bringing a tripod and setting up like many others, so shot this handheld at 1/8 of a second, which is the best I can do at shooting hand held. Thank goodness for the Vibration reduction in modern lenses.

I thoroughly enjoyed being there and taking in this wonderful sight, despite the spray of water and the cool temperatures. It looks much more pleasant in the summer, though I expect it would be packed with people.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 78mm
1/8 sec, f/13.0, ISO 200

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“Single Hydrangea in Vase”

“Single Hydrangea in Vase”

“A flower does not use words to announce its arrival to the world; it just blooms.” 
― Matshona Dhliwayo

As I write this, thunder is booming and the rain is coming down in sheets. Only moments before, my wife cut one of our Annabelle Hydrangea blossoms, for fear of them being further damaged. You see, this year, with all the rain we’ve had, the blossoms are huge. By huge, I mean the size of the average person’s head, and thus, at risk in the rain.

For hydrangeas, in the rain, size is not a good thing, since they retain the moisture, which increases their weight, either bending the flower stems or breaking them off altogether. Most of our are now bent flat, the blossoms resting on the ground.

As it sat on out table, saved from the rain, I took the opportunity to move it to the studio for a few shots. I’m not a fan of showing the vase in my photos, but this one seemed to work.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
2.0 sec, f/36.0 ISO 200

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“Rainy Day Goat’s Beard”

“Rainy Day Goat’s Beard”

“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.”
― Roger Miller

Another rainy day image, though the rain has finally moved on. It was so cool and wet this day that the Goat’s Beard blossoms remained partially closed. This one had a special appeal to me because of the raindrops that cling to it, a reminder that it was, in fact, raining that day, lest I forget.

Though I find myself grumbling about all the rainy days, it did make for some nice images. The dull skies allowed me to expose for longer, creating a bit more saturation and the rain gives everything a clean, lustrous appearance. This effect is especially noticeable in wildflowers, which just seem fresher when damp than they do on dry, sunny days.

As one who really does not mind getting wet, this all works out, provided I’m not caught in a downpour, and even those, have their magical moments.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/500 sec, f/11.0 ISO 800

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Saturated”

“Saturated”

“Life has pounded me down
and thrashed me around,
Time and time again,
But I always get right back up,
Because I still love life –
Just as the earth still loves
The rain.”
― Suzy Kassem

The continuing theme of the past few weeks, is ‘Saturated”, as evidenced by this dandelion seed head. Entire fields of dandelions looked like this, after days of non-stop rain and mist.

From my Sunday hiking experience, I think the only thing that likes this weather is mosquitoes, which rise from the grasses and ferns in clouds and fill my ears with their hungry hum, as I sit low to the ground to make photos of the current wildflower blossoms.

The next few days are supposed to warm up and be nice. That would be a great change, since I too, am saturated. Though, I expect teh mosquitoes will like this too.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/200 sec, f/9.0 ISO 800

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Dew Covered Oak Ferns”

“Dew Covered Oak Ferns”

“When one tunes in into nature’s frequency, life becomes change, change becomes hope!”
― Aniekee Tochukwu Ezekiel

The honest truth, over the past few weeks, it’s been difficult to photograph anything that is not either dew covered, or rain-soaked. As my previous few posts have indicated, it has been WET here. To the point where I finally had a chance this past Sunday to take a brief hike in the local forests.

Even at that, it was still a bit dull, with the occasional break of sunlight. The combination of the two made it possible to get some nice photos of wildflowers, which I will be sharing over the next few days. While the dull clouds allowed for deep, saturated colours, slight breezes also meant I had to shoot at a slightly higher ISO than I like, to compensate for the movement of the flowers, which, though negligible to the naked eye, is magnified in macro imagery.

Despite having to make some modifications, the images of wildflowers at this time of year are very nice and the dew drops give them a serene feeling. Something most of us can use more of.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/13 sec, f/16.0 ISO 800

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Sierra Dogwood” – Yosemite National Park

Dogwood Blossoms - Mirrror Lake Loop 2013

“The whole tree when in flower looks as if covered with snow. In the spring when the streams are in flood it is the whitest of trees. In Indian summer the leaves become bright crimson, making a still grander show than the flowers.” – John Muir

Recent reports from Yosemite are informing me, in my absence, that the Sierra Dogwoods have begun to bloom. A clear indication that spring is here and I long to be there once more.

I’ve seen many images of these beautiful, delicate, spring blossoms, in photography books, websites, and my Facebook feed. For many years I determined to time a visit to Yosemite in the April-May timeframe to see them for myself. Driving into the park from Oakhurst, I spotted the first few dogwood trees among the pines, bright white flowers, against the dark forest. It was raining and dull, yet they shone in the mist. Of course, having never seen them close up myself, I pulled over and made a photo at the first convenient pull-out.

What I did not realize at the time was that many better opportunities would present themselves; nicer, bigger blossoms, better light, more interesting backgrounds. Nothing had prepared me for how glorious the peak bloom is in the park. Blossoms were everywhere and I must have taken hundreds of photos, in every conceivable composition, trying to get something unique, that captured my vision. The image above was made while hiking the Mirror Lake Loop, which presented many wonderful specimens for my enjoyment. The gentle, off and on, rain enhanced the photo by bringing out the shine of the leaves and softening the light.

It’s feeling like a Yosemite week, more to follow.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 135 mm
1/80 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Hydrangea on Ice”

“Hydrangeas on Ice”

“What is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?”
― Kahlil Gibran

This year, I left a few dried hydrangea blooms in my garden. My usual ritual is to trim them all down in the fall. I’m glad I left them, they added some interest in this past, dull, nearly snowless winter, and created a nice franewirk for our recent freezing rain event.

For those who have never experienced freezing rain, I’ll include a brief description here:
Freezing rain occurs when the ground temperature is below freezing while the air layers above are warmer. The precipitation falls as rain and freezes on contact with the ground. The end effect is that everything is coated with an ever increasing layer of clear ice. If conditions are right, this accumulation can be over an inch thick and cause major damage to trees and powerlines. Because it is a gradual accumulation, delicate plants, which would collapse in snow, are held rigid by the ice that encases them.

This was the case with the hydrangeas pictured above. A thin coating of clear ice built up over a period of a few hours, making them look like the are coated in clear glass.

It’s a beautiful effect, unless you are driving and have to chisel the ice from your car, or try to walk, since the ice is usually covered in a thin layer of semi-frozen water, making it extremely slippery. This is not a good feature when you are trying to walk around with your camera. The other thing with freezing rain is that it tends to be a very brief, beautiful event, which generally melts away within a few hours, as the temperatures rise.

I find it to be a challenging time photographically, since everything is beautiful and it’s difficult to isolate a particular composition within all that beauty.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 130 mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0 -0.33, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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